How to reinforce a wall if you are installing wall-mounted furniture
Wall-mounted basins, vanity units, shelves and cabinets are a practical and elegant solution. We look at how to reinforce a wall so they can be hung safely and efficiently
How to reinforce a wall for wall-mounted furniture
Wall-mounted furniture has been a popular option in the interior design sector for a number of years now, much appreciated for its practical nature and ability to make the most of space. It is easy to understand its success, but the key thing to take into consideration before purchasing it is that you may need to reinforce the wall before any item is hung, to ensure that its weight will be supported.
While such pieces of furniture, whether we are talking about a vanity unit, kitchen shelving, bedside cabinets or living room storage cabinets, create a sense of airiness and lightness in the space in which they are mounted, they are inevitably heavy and need to be securely fastened to the wall.
In this article we share guidelines to follow before installing wall-mounted furniture, from reinforcing an internal wall to evaluating an object’s weight.
How to reinforce your wall
Inevitably, you are going to need to consider reinforcing a wall before installing an item of wall-mounted furniture, not only to ensure the piece itself is stable, but also to create a safe environment for those using it or coming into contact with it.
If you are using brackets (which is almost a certainty in such cases), you need to make sure that the vertical structures inside the wall itself are strong enough to support the weight of the furniture that will then be attached. As a general rule of thumb, you should reinforce an ample strip that runs horizontally across the wall behind the item being installed, using a structure that is suitable for the materials the wall and foundations are made of. In terms of the height of the strip, this will depend on the height of the item, which can obviously vary depending on whether it is a basin, a mirror, bookshelf or so on.
While this process can be useful on load-bearing walls, it is absolutely fundamental if you are planning to mount furniture on a plasterboard wall. We have previously covered this topic in some depth with our article explaining the steps required if you are installing a basin on a plasterboard wall.
Understanding the strength and composition of a wall
Before attaching your item of furniture to the wall, you will need to evaluate the wall itself and understand what it is made of. A simple rule to help with this is to drill a hole and take a careful look at the dust or debris that is created. If it is grey or whitish, you are dealing with a concrete wall, while if it is predominantly red, we are talking about bricks. And, if no dust emerges, we have a plasterboard wall before us. Another indicator when trying to understand the nature of the wall is how easy or difficult it is to drill. The more force required to penetrate, the stronger the wall and therefore it will support a greater weight, such as a stone basin or vanity unit.
It is also useful to consider the risk of mould forming between the item of furniture and the wall you are reinforcing, particularly in a bathroom or anywhere exposed to dampness or inclement weather. The last thing you want is to compromise the performance and aesthetics of your lovely basin, sink or vanity unit, for example.
Understanding the type of wall-mounted furniture
Together with the surface that needs to be reinforced, it is important to understand the type of wall-mounted furniture you are looking to attach. While this rule applies to any object that will be hung, it is clear that it is crucial if you are talking about a particular heavy or large piece, and the design, shape and material will all have a bearing on this.
Wall reinforcements play a key role in minimising the risk that the anchoring system loosens or doesn’t find enough grip to bear the weight of the item of furniture, with the chance of damage to the object itself or, even worse, causing personal injury. That’s why it is important to check that they are sufficiently fixed to the existing structure so that tensile and tear strength work together as one to withstand any force applied over the years.
Naturally, the golden rule is to follow the installation guidelines provided by any manufacturer for a particular product and, if in doubt, call in an expert to provide a solution that is tailored to the item of furniture, the wall structure and the environment in question.
Examples of designer wall-mounted furniture items
Now that we’ve addressed the practical issues and looked at how to reinforce a wall, it’s time to enjoy some inspiring examples of designer furniture that can transform our homes.
Once upon a time, wall-mounted vanity units and basins symbolised innovation and style, but today they have evolved, introducing contrasts of voids and solids and creating harmonious environments free of visual impediments such as legs or heavy structures anchored to the ground. Suspended basins and sanitaryware are idea for long, narrow bathrooms while wall-mounted cabinets and drawers inject a contemporary look into living rooms.
While we are fans of understated, pared-back design, an elegant, exclusive texture or surprising use of a natural material can add depth and interest, whilst remaining in total synergy with the surrounding décor elements.
The advantages of wall-mounted furniture
The advantages of wall-mounted items of furniture go beyond the aesthetic aspect, although this is certainly a factor that should not be under-estimated. They create a sense of lightness and airiness, bringing a streamlined, eye-pleasing effect that makes them a winning solution in any room, whether it is a bathroom, kitchen, hallway or bedroom.
They are also highly practical, making cleaning much easier, as there are no legs or other impediments to navigate. Because it is easy to sweep and mop beneath them, you also have the satisfaction of knowing the entire floor is clean, rather than hidden dust accumulating.
Last, but certainly not least, they are a useful trick for optimising space in cramped areas, particularly bathrooms, a room where an item such as a gorgeous wall-hung vanity unit can create a stunning balance with an equally beautiful floor for a relaxing and stylish designer haven.
Creating structural reinforcements is an increasingly common necessity in modern interior décor, thanks to the popularity of wall-mounted furniture, an aesthetically-pleasing and practical solution.
Working with natural stone for over seven decades, we fully understand the importance of a stable support system that can bear substantial weights. If you have your heart set on a beautiful stone basin, cabinet or even smaller item such as a mirror, and would like any advice about how to hang them securely, please get in touch. We will be happy to help.